Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Don't Like Batman

It's occured to me that I just don't like Batman. I mean, he's a great character, but, I dunno, I just don't read super-hero comics for normal guys with psychological issues beating up on street-level thugs -- I read them for people who fly around in colorful tights with frickin' lasers shooting out of their eyes.

The only time I ever really like Batman is when he's appearing with other super-heroes, like in the Justice League, taking on threats that normal humans would stand no chance against. Batman teaming up with Superman and Wonder Woman to kick an evil alien god's butt is one-thousand nine-hundred thirty-nine kinds of awesome. Batman in his own series tying up muggers is not.

And then there's the angst. MY PARENTS ARE DEAD, MY SIDEKICK IS DEAD... Jesus, man, get some damn therapy.

I'm also of the opinion that Batman simply is not complete without Robin, which is apparently an unpopular sentiment these days. Doesn't matter which Robin it is (though I have to say I like Dick Grayson better as Nightwing than I ever did as Robin) as long as he's there to keep Bruce's spirits up.

Meh. I'll take a Big Blue Boy Scout over a moody Dark Knight any day.


James said...

With all due respect, the major reason DC Comics continues to acquire new readers remains the Dark Knight. Batman provides superhero comics its needed Everyman tenet. Sure everyone isn't a wealthy aristocrat, but Batman's real strength was always his tenacity, his singleminded drive to mold himself into the solution to crime in his hometown.

Every other mainstream superhero with a broad outside-of-comics following (Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Wolverine, Hulk, etc) requires science fiction disbelief operate. The reader must believe a man can fly. With Batman, all one must believe is that a determined individual can change his world.

Regardless of the psychological cost, Batman trumps Big Blue and his ilk everyday.

Filby said...

First of all, thank you very much for replying!

I'm sure you're right that Batman is DC's main draw. I'm well aware that he's their most popular super-hero (moreso than Supes even), or indeed the most popular super-hero. And I don't doubt his value as a character, either. I'm really just talking about my own likes and dislikes.

I don't have a problem with non-powered super-heroes -- I'm really quite fond of Robin and Nightwing, for instance -- but only when they're in distinctly non-"everyman" situations. As I noted above, the idea of Batman going toe-to-toe with Darkseid really piques my interest, but when he goes back to the likes of the Penguin and the Riddler my interest wanes. (That said, I do think that the Joker is one of the most fantastic villains out there, but that's for another time.) I suppose the concept of a normal human (an audience surrogate, really) standing among the gods as an equal, and in many ways a superior, appeals to me; but that just isn't part of Batman as he is written in his own series, hence my lack of interest. Again, all a matter of opinion.

Funny you should mention suspension of disbelief, as that's exactly what draws me to Superman and his like, and DC in general over Marvel and other "realistic" mainstream comics. The idea of a world filled with flying men in blue tights, space-cops with magic wishing rings, and evil psychic gorillas appeals to me on a fundamental level -- I just don't get that sense of wonder with Batman.

I do think that The Dark Knight Returns is one of the classics of the medium (even if I hate Miller's Superman), but I take it on its own merits, not comparing to other comics as I do with Batman's monthly titles.

Thanks again. :)

Denyer said...

The reader must believe a man can fly. With Batman, all one must believe is that a determined individual can change his world.

And avoid getting hit by one stray bullet in the carotid artery, or stuck in the blast radius of anything moderately explosive...